KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CBO: More People Than Expected Will Face Health Law’s Penalty

The Congressional Budget Office now estimates that nearly six million people will face penalties for not getting health insurance as a result of the 2010 health law's individual mandate.

USA Today: CBO: Health Care Penalty To Hit 6M People
That's a 2 million increase over a previous estimate. The average penalty is estimated at nearly $1,200. The requirement that nearly all Americans buy some form of health insurance goes into effect starting in 2014 (Jackson, 9/19).

The Associated Press/NBC News: More Expected To Face Penalty Under Health Law
The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises. The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. ... That's still only a sliver of the population, given that more than 150 million people currently are covered by employer plans. Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000 (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/19).

Reuters: Six Million Americans Likely To Pay Healthcare Tax In 2016
The 50 percent increase was likely to draw fire from Republicans on the campaign trail who want to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law and who reject the penalty as a government intrusion into the lives of individuals. ... The law requires most Americans to have some form of health insurance - known as the individual mandate. The law stipulates that those who do not acquire health coverage will face a penalty (Dixon and Morgan,9/20).

The Hill: CBO: 6M People Will Pay Penalty Under Health Law's Mandate
The penalties paid will add up to about $8 billion per year, CBO said. The penalty for going uninsured will be start off at either $695 or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. It will increase over time (Baker, 9/19).

Bloomberg: CBO Says 6 Million In U.S. To Face Penalty For Lacking Insurance
[T]he CBO said it foresees higher unemployment, which translates into more people without employer-sponsored coverage. It’s also a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June striking down the law’s requirement that states expand their Medicaid programs, which will leave more uninsured Americans subject to the penalty, CBO said (Faler, 9/19).

The Fiscal Times: Six Million Uninsured Will Pay Penalty
The law is projected to provide insurance for about 30 million people, either through plans purchased with subsidies on state-based exchanges or through joining state Medicaid programs. A number of Republican-led states are balking at signing up for the program. Over half the 30 million who will remain uninsured after the law goes into effect won’t be subject to the penalty because they are unauthorized immigrants (Goozner, 9/19).

CNN Money: Two Million More Expected To Pay Penalty Under Obamacare
[T]he penalty will be waived for people with very low incomes who don't have to file tax returns, those who are members of certain religious groups, or people who face insurance premiums that would exceed 8% of family income even after including employer contributions and federal subsidies. Penalty payments collected in 2016 are expected to total $7 billion, about $3 billion more than previously estimated (O’Toole, 9/19).

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